Tokki – always my baby girl

Sunday 26th May 2019 – this was the day I went to “have a look” at the “baby bunnies” Silv had at home

Backstory Silv came in one day and asked every one at work if they wanted baby bunnies. I’ve always wanted a pet when I have my own place and to me, a pet = a dog. I didn’t give too much thought about Silv’s question about the bunnies because I had a plan to adopt/get a dog after my 40th (and Scottish hiking trip with JoFo). I was never ever tempted or considered taking any bunnies home as a pet. Sure! They are cute, but because of my {pet = dog} mindset, they’ve never come up as a pet option.

I was having my lunch break and Silv came in asking the same question. Izzy was sitting across me and she very quickly answered, “Yea! I’ll take them.”
I looked at Izzy and asked, “Uhm…what about Boston? I don’t think German Shepherds go well with bunnies?” Turned out, she thought Silv was offering game meat. πŸ™ˆ

Silv explained that she got given baby bunnies from her friend who didn’t know they had a pair of male & female bunnies when got them from the pet store (?). She also mentioned that they are small and “won’t grow any bigger” – I kind of wondered how would she know they won’t grow any bigger since they are still babies. However, for some reason, this time I said, “Yeah, I’ll come have a look!”
I did a quick read up about bunnies as pets (why? I don’t know πŸ˜…) and I also asked Ju for advice/thoughts since she has Rupert. Somehow I was drawn to the part where bunnies can be cuddly, independent and toilet trained (I “blame” YouTube videos of Lennon the Bunny. πŸ™ˆ)

So Sunday came and somehow my heart has decided to take a bunny home as a pet. (Yes, yes, I know better now but at that time, I THOUGHT I was prepared for it). When I got to Silv’s place, I was taken to where the “baby bunnies” were and I was half surprised to see how big they were. I initially wanted to take the grey one home but Silv told me that her sister already wanted that one as a pet. So I looked at the other corner and the rest looked similar. The only thing that was different is that Tokki was the only brown/broken bunny; the rest were grey/broken. This was why I made the choice to take her home.

The cage they were in was quite deep and I did not know how to handle a bunny. I was also afraid they may bite. In the end, Silv’s mum got Tokki out for me. Looking back at photos, I now know she was actually so scared with her nostrils flaring. I had to stop the car within a minute of driving off from Silv’s place because Tokki managed to jump out of the box we put her in! I didn’t have a carrier, I didn’t have ANYTHING at home.
My heart wanted a pet but my head told me it’s not time; so I guess if I didn’t buy anything in advance, it’s not real. I was prepared but not prepared, if that makes sense. So after choosing Tokki, I stopped at PetStock and bought the bare minimum (litter tray, litter, hay, water bottle and pellets). I also stopped at Kmart to get a pet crate. Thankfully all this was before 5pm – it was a Sunday after all.

There was a bit of drama and me breaking down after taking Tokki home.
It was due to my unrealistic expectation as an inexperienced bunny mama. I didn’t understand why she kept running away when I tried to get near here. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t pee in the litter box I got her and peed on the edge of my carpet. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t let me cuddle her. I was just trying to love her!
I was trying to save money but I found out how much it would cost to keep a bunny (it’s NOT a bigger hamster) in terms of vet fees. I read that if I don’t get her desexed, it may be more difficult to toilet train AND her lifespan will be shortened due to the risk of uterine cancer. This in turn stressed me out even more because then NOT doing the surgery is not an option (then the stress of cost of keeping a pet I can’t cuddle – I kept thinking why is she not like Lennon the bunny). I got a bunny “for free” but it costs me so much more to keep her.
I cried when I found out bunnies could live for up to 10 years or more. What about my dog plan? How can I afford it? How would they live together? I don’t want to cage any of them up.
I cried when I found out that she had peed on the edge of my carpet again (only within 10 minutes of letting her out of the crate) – this is when I was running late for work. I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t use the litter box (it’s been 3 days!!! πŸ˜…) I was so frustrated that I complained to Silv while trying to hold tears back. Silv said I could give Tokki back but somehow I felt like I can’t turn back on my decision on that Sunday. I said that I will take Tokki to the vet and then decide on it then…however, as you now know, the rest is history.

So after deciding to be a responsible bunny mama and to keep Tokki, I took even more effort to learn about bunnies and how to care for them. I got her desexed (it’s official when she takes my last name 😁) and did the litter training again, slowly expanding her roaming area and time. The vet told me she suspected Tokki could’ve been pregnant when they did the procedure and we guessed that she could be around 6-8 months old – this would explain why Silv said they “won’t grow any bigger” (I have a feeling they tried to feed them like how they fed their other meat rabbits but because they are a dwarf mix, it was the maximum size they’d grow to). I found out I am allergic to Timothy Hay so she can only have Oaten Hay.
I got a playpen from Kmart and expanded her crate area so she’d have more space to exercise in while I’m not home. I spent time with her at her level and found out she was food motivated (agreeable to learning tricks). Slowly, she became a free roam bunny but because she was afraid of the floorboards, she was naturally confined to the living area. The only time she’d brave the floorboards is when she comes into my carpeted room. I got a couple more of carpets for the living area, bought toys, bought treats, grew parsley (I don’t like parsley), made a hay feeder and “extension” for her crate…people were telling me I spoil her. You think so? πŸ€”πŸ€ͺ
From being indifferently responsible to Tokki to having googly eyes over her because SHE’S THE CUTEST BUNNY EVER! πŸ₯° I can’t imagine not having Tokki in my life now.

Silv told me she didn’t know what happened to all of Tokki’s siblings. Her stories didn’t match up every time I asked her and it didn’t match up with what her sister said (when I asked her about the grey bunny). Sister said they died and Silv said they escaped. We will never know, huh? 😏
So the dramatised version of how I adopted Tokki is that I saved her from being eaten. 😳

Also a reminder: please do not use live animals as gifts or take them home without doing your research first. If you’re not prepared to care for them, please don’t be tempted or blinded by their cuteness. I may not be qualified to give you this advice since I took a bunny home without doing enough research and had unrealistic expectations. πŸ˜…
Please don’t make the same mistake as I did – it could save you a lot of tears and frustrations. If it’s too late and you’ve taken one home, please do not forget the moment that made you decide to take them home. πŸ₯Ί

P/S: Please don’t leave any hate here. I personally have not eaten rabbit and choose not to. I am in no position to judge as I do eat other meat. This is written just for the story of how Tokki came into my life.

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